He may have reduced a World Championship roster down sub-Mets level, but you have to give baseball’s worst general manager credit for still trying. Reportedly, Ruben Amaro Jr. has repeatedly attempted to persuade the Marlins to move their finest asset, Giancarlo Stanton, to no avail. Considering that the preponderance of Rubie’s moves to date have failed embarrassingly, one wonders if Miami’s disinterest is a blessing in disguise. No need to catalog the series of monumental miscalculations here, but as one reference, enjoy watching ALCS hero Shane Victorino playing in the World Series this week. We all know the chronology of mind boggling moves that have cost Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ruiz, Victorino, and Hamels additional rings while in their prime. That window has closed, but as J-Roll suggested recently, a new one could be opening. Unfortunately, an inept baseball life failure remains at the helm.
If we don’t want 2014 to be as unwatchable and wasted as 2013 was, we can’t allow Rubie to populate another fourth place roster with Amaro Jr.-like clones such as Roger Bernadina, some guy named Casper, Mike Martinez (statistically one of the worst hitters in MLB history since 1900), and Pete Orr. So, I’m going to inject my amateur advisement to the Teflon GM by offering a definitive plan for fixing his mess. Although we appreciate Rubie’s failed attempts to acquire Giancarlo, this is a results oriented industry. Trying is appreciated at the Little League level, but they keep score in the Bigs. As unfathomable as it is, the bespectacled frequent failure is not going anywhere unless the fans are required to endure more Amaro-produced agony in 2014. To avoid that, here’s the assistance he so desperately needs.
In part resulting from the unprecedented incompetence in flipping 2012 World Champion Hunter Pence, the Phillies farm system has been depleted. However, some pieces remain. Since the organization has committed to the core legends for another run, who cares about the farm system for now? A trade for Stanton will need to include Domonic Brown. At the surface, that’s painful sounding, but considering the Phillies’ dearth of right handed bats, moving Brown in a package for Stanton becomes more palatable. Plus, now is the opportune time to move Brown. He broke through to All-Star status in ’13, but let’s face it, he binged in May creating an inflated stat line for the season. Don’t tell the Marlins this, but the bulk of his productivity came in a three week span. Shhhh, maybe they won’t notice. Brown, Cody Asche (or M. Franco if necessary), and Jesse Biddle will do the trick. There are no comparable free agent right handed bats on the Free Agent market. This is by far the most advantageous opportunity to legitimately improve upon the lineup’s imbalance if Stanton can be had.
Once Stanton is acquired, in a year when they won’t lose their first round pick, this is the off season to then sign a top notch free agent outfielder like Ellsbury or Granderson. With Stanton’s right handed bat in place, the heavy lefty hitting FA market becomes more appealing. With that, the outfield is solidified, a righty bat is inserted into the four hole, and the lackluster O is vastly improved. Yep, it’s that easy. By paying a steep price for Stanton and signing a center fielder, Rubie’s inevitable miscalculations with the fifth starter, bench, and middle relief can be minimized.
Lee and Howard’s hefty contracts are not the fans doings. Yet, the fans bear the burden of the on-field failures as existing promised money is repeatedly referenced by the organization’s leader (and his website PR rep Todd Zolecki) as excuses for the team’s inability to properly add quality to the roster. Here, Stanton will be relatively inexpensive (est. $7-million arbitration value). The free agent centerfielder will be pricey. The redeeming aspect of the on field catastrophe of 2013 was the nice emergence of several inexpensive organizational prospects including Ruf, Hernandez, Rupp, and Galvis. Although not starting quality players for a championship driven team, they are adequate and cheap bench players. Little money needs to be spent on the bench, third base (Asche or Franco), and the third OF position (Revere/Ruf) in 2014-15.
Let’s make these moves and expeditiously reverse this mess Red Sox style. It can happen in one off season. You just have to make the right moves and fewer excuses. Don’t believe me? Simply Refer to Shane Victorino’s World Champion BoSox and you’ll see what I mean.